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Lifestyle Control is a leftist construct.

You won’t find libertarians or true conservatives backing it.

I arrived at this conclusion during the French presidential campaign this past Spring. The Greens and far Left parties, especially those which have strong union links, denounced tobacco and alcohol.

Several weeks ago, a Californian reader of mine, Tom, gave a rundown on the politics in the greater San Francisco Bay area. Smoking bans correlated with left-wing politics, including the town with a Communist mayor — Santa Cruz, if I’m not mistaken.

This year, despite our Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition, it seems the Lifestyle Control folks are going at it hammer and tongs. A leading light (!) in Tobacco Control (TC) was pleased to observe that all the TC measures were easily transportable to other campaigns. This, despite the fact that TC have said on more than one occasion that tobacco is a ‘unique’ product requiring the most stringent regulation.

I’ll come to killer bacon in a moment, however … within the past few weeks, we have had a stream of headlines, not just about removing tobacco from view but minimum pricing for alcohol and killer food. What follows is but a brief selection:

– From Jay at Nannying Tyrants, we discover that Andrew Brown, an Australian now working for the UK government in TC, is pushing not only for plain packaging for tobacco products but also wants to ban smoking in private vehicles ‘to protect children and young people. Regrettably, this is the first time I have ever levelled a criticism at a former member of the military; Brown is a retired Royal Australian Air Force officer.

Also from Nannying Tyrants, we find out that hospital in Letterkenny, Donegal, has forced smokers to the perimeter of the hospital grounds in order to have a quiet five-minute puff in peace. Like many of you, I hadn’t heard of Letterkenny before, but its hospital grounds are, well, a campus. So, your loved one is dying or you’re relieved they’re recovering from a serious operation, but you’re not allowed — nor are they — to step outside for a smoke. Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Martina McDaid said that smoking ‘is not a lifestyle choice’. However, it can provide brief comfort when awaiting news of a loved one. Hospital visits and stays are not exactly entertainment, are they?

Belinda at F2C [Freedom to Choose] Scotland tells us that Novartis has spelled out their support for smoking bans. They trot out the good old ‘Tobacco is the single largest cause of avoidable death in the EU’ line along with everyone else. Is it really? Is that why we have so many 50-pluses whose houses the British government and housing associations are trying to lay claim to? Pull the other one, Novartis.

Also from Belinda, it transpires that Mexico, which some perceive to be an emerging economy has nine times the number of people aged between 70 and 74, yet only a fraction of the lung cancer deaths that Scotland has. How can that be? Are the causes really ‘smoking-related’ or is there a prevalence of something else in the Western world, e.g. exhaust fumes or another industrial component? Fredrik Eich has more. Both sites have charts to study.

Then, there’s strong drink:

Dick Puddlecote reports that Bulgaria, a recent entry to the EU, has firmly objected to minimum pricing for alcohol. One John Watson disparages their objections. It turns out that, prior to entering the lofty realms of Alcohol Control, not only worked for ASH Scotland but Amnesty International. What should we make of that? The Left strikes again.

Also from Puddlecote Towers comes the news that Alcohol Control object to better pension payouts to drinkers, up to the tune of £2,000 per annum.  Dick notes that unlike the bogus science of Lifestyle Control in all its guises, seasoned actuaries determine who gets paid what and how much. The bright side is that drinkers might die sooner, giving Gen X and Gen Y along with the government access to said drinkers’ houses for ‘families in need’. Uh huh.

As for minimum pricing per unit of alcohol in Britain, the Pub Curmudgeon reports that there will be a windfall for supermarkets should a 50p per unit pricing come into play. The Telegraph has more. Like tuition fees, prescription charges and everything else, it will only go up. Who knew? The Pub Curmudgeon has been predicting this ever since minimum pricing became a topic of blogging conversation about a year ago. Rightly, the Snowolf wants to know how the Scottish government is so certain it can save ‘up to’ 300 lives a year through minimum pricing. Yes, an interesting question which deserves an honest answer. Were the health officials doodling numbers on the back of a cigarette packet?

Now, on to food:

The Pub Curmudgeon recounts his experiences trying to obtain a proper Ploughman’s Lunch. All it is is cheese, bread and pickles. What could be simpler? These days, it can come with ham or a pork pie. The mind boggles. Who doesn’t know what a Ploughman’s Lunch is? A lot of bar staff, it seems.

The French news site, L’Internaute, reports that there is no safe amount of genetically-modified grain. Apparently, even a small amount of genetically-modified corn NK 603 can poison or kill rats. I read in passing elsewhere that the EU, including Russia, rejected American corn recently. It ended up going to feed the poor in Africa.

Chris Snowdon reports that the New York City ban on sodas was passed a couple of years ago. Australia wishes to carry that mantle until the finish line.  Sigh. Australia used to be such a confident country — whatever happened? In any event, they would like to extend plain packaging to junk food.

Bacon has more salt than, erm, sea water, Consensus Action on Salt and Health — CASH — says. Sound familiar? Like ASH? Note the word ‘Consensus’. Count me out of that one. How many centuries have we had bacon? Of course, it has salt. It has to be cured somehow. CASH wants the Department of Health to mandate that meat companies lower the salt in bacon. You have got to be kidding. Next thing we know, bacon will be sold behind shutters, like tobacco: ‘BACON PRODUCTS’.

On that note, former accountant now blogger Ken Frost has a range of shirts extolling the ‘joy of lard’. They read, ‘I’m happy because I eat lard’. Nice one!

On his blog, Ken Frost reports that M&M Mars has taken Aberdeenshire’s Carron Fish Bar to task for serving deep-fried Mars bars, a treat it has been serving up for 20 years. The American confectionary company is asking the fish bar to put a disclaimer on its menus saying that Mars does not approve of this use of their product. Here is a token gratuitous recipe, filmed by an Australian, for deep-fried Mars bars:

Finally, A Very British Dude says that Lifestyle Control has hit mass media, with an Australian radio personality asking — nay, petitioning — Sun editor Dominic Mohan (whom I remember as the celebrity gossip columnist in the 1990s) drop their Page Three feature. As the blogger says, why not just tell readers not to buy the Sun if they object to Page Three? But this might go deeper (emphases mine):

I am reasonably sure that anyone signing this petition has already voted, by not buying ‘the Sun’, so the signers of this petition are simply looking to impose their preferences on other people …

The arguments are so weak they essentially boil down to “we, the enlightened object to something you, the proles, do; so we’re banning it“. This has happened to smoking, which died out in the middle-classes but persists amongst the kind of people who build houses and clean streets. Once this happened, pubs, clubs, businesses were denied the right to allow their patrons to smoke. “For the children” was invoked, but pubs, the kind where working class people gather, not the nice gastro-pub, closed as a direct result. How is anyone happier or better off, drinking at home rather than in a pub?

The people who are most keen on clearing “slums”, temperance, drug prohibition, anti-smoking, anti-obesity, sure-start, parenting classes and means-tested welfare are the political left, who are also most keen on taxing the poor’s few remaining pleasures. The left claim to act in the poor’s interest, but they don’t seem to much like the poor, and so wish to alter them “for their own good”. This isn’t about the working class’s self-improvement, it’s about power and class and brute, miserable prejudice of purse-lipped puritanism and middle-class hypocrisy. C.S Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

The Left’s utopia is another man’s prison.

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